House committee approves human rights legislation

          WASHINGTON, D.C.― The House Foreign Affairs Committee has passed legislation that prohibits increasing non-humanitarian assistance to the government of Viet Nam unless the President certifies that Ha Noi has made substantial progress regarding the release of political and religious prisoners.


          The full House and Senate still must approve the measure for it to take law. A previous bill, the so-called Viet Nam Human Right Act, was approved by the House but died in the Senate.


          Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), a longtime critic of Viet Nam on the human rights issue, said the committee’s approval is a good first step.


          “Sadly, Ha Noi continues its war on religious freedom and human rights… just as it has been doing for decades,” he said. “However, Vietnamese officials today have brought their harassment of religious leaders, political dissidents and student activists to new, draconian levels.”


          Royce, who authored legislation that expanded Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) broadcasts in this critical region of the world, praised the legislation’s provisions designed to bolster RFA’s impact on Viet Nam. U.S.-backed Radio Free Asia is a “surrogate” broadcasting service, acting as a free press for Viet Nam.


          “With this legislation, Radio Free Asia will now be better able to bring objective news – the truth – to the Vietnamese people. The spread of democratic values in Asia is critical to U.S. security interests.


          “It is important to note that Viet Nam has recently ratcheted up its efforts to block radio broadcasts from Radio Free Asia. This tells me that not only are these broadcasts having a positive effect in combating state propaganda, but Ha Noi is feeling increased political pressure.”


          Royce, who was condemned by the Communist government in Ha Noi when he secretly met with Thich Quang Do and Le Quang Liem, also spoke of the encouragement that the Viet Nam Human Rights Act will give dissidents inside Viet Nam:


          “The Viet Nam Human Rights Act is an inspiration to the brave dissidents inside Viet Nam who continue to be brutally repressed by Hanoi. The United States must continue to speak out, as the Foreign Affairs Committee has done. Silence is not an option.”


 


Báo Người Việt hoan nghênh quý vị độc giả đóng góp và trao đổi ý kiến. Chúng tôi xin quý vị theo một số quy tắc sau đây:

Tôn trọng sự thật.
Tôn trọng các quan điểm bất đồng.
Dùng ngôn ngữ lễ độ, tương kính.
Không cổ võ độc tài phản dân chủ.
Không cổ động bạo lực và óc kỳ thị.
Không vi phạm đời tư, không mạ lỵ cá nhân cũng như tập thể.

Tòa soạn sẽ từ chối đăng tải các ý kiến không theo những quy tắc trên.

Xin quý vị dùng chữ Việt có đánh dấu đầy đủ. Những thư viết không dấu có thể bị từ chối vì dễ gây hiểu lầm cho người đọc. Tòa soạn có thể hiệu đính lời văn nhưng không thay đổi ý kiến của độc giả, và sẽ không đăng các bức thư chỉ lập lại ý kiến đã nhiều người viết. Việc đăng tải các bức thư không có nghĩa báo Người Việt đồng ý với tác giả.

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